In a meeting Thursday night the board, which is charged with managing the Cleburne County Nursing Home and the Emergency Medical Service, decided to reduce the number of ambulances it uses from five to four.
The board bought two new ambulances for the service this year with the expectation to replace two older models. One of the new ones arrived in August and the other arrived this month, said EMS director Tracy Lambert. That has temporarily given the EMS a total of eight vehicles. But Lambert suggested the board reduce its fleet to a total of four ambulances, one less than it is currently using.
“If we end up using four, we’ve got mutual aid; we can call other services in,” Lambert said.
He suggested the board sell three of the service’s old ambulances as well as a box ambulance, which no longer works.
Patrick Nolen, who was nominated to be on the board but has not been appointed, said the service doesn’t have enough employees to make use of five ambulances at one time, such as might be the case in a major emergency.
Board member Dan Hopkins agreed.
“We can call Haralson. We can call Bremen. We can call Anniston,” Hopkins said. “I think four is more than adequate.”
Lambert mentioned that Semper Fi Rescue asked him if EMS could donate one of the working ambulances to the organization.
Board member Coker Cleveland said he was familiar with the organization and noted it does good work. But board member Kay Allen said the EMS building still needs a lot of renovations. She suggested the money be used to help fund the construction.
“I would love to donate it,” Allen said. “However, since we’ve got so many things we need to do for the building, I suggest that we see if we can get $5,000 for each ambulance.”
The board voted to sell the box ambulance, which no longer runs, and three Ford ambulances and use the proceeds to continue renovations on the EMS building.
Lambert told the board members they should be able to sell the Fords for about $5,000 apiece, but the box ambulance won’t bring much.
He will advertise for sealed bids for the ambulances with the right to refuse. The board members can open the bids at the November meeting, he said, and if the bids are under $5,000, he could then list them on govdeals.com for auction.
In other business the board members:
— Approved buying Christmas hams for the nursing home and EMS employees for $1.39 a pound.
— Heard the board will receive a check for $8,778.16 from Cleburne County. It is a replacement for a check written on Oct. 20, 2011, that was never cashed. The discrepancy was found during an audit when the account was closed, Weston said.
— Heard that EMS would be purchasing badges and uniforms for the staff.
The next meeting will be Nov. 21.
Staff writer Laura Camper: 256-235-3545. On Twitter @LCamper_Star.